[b-hebrew] final alef

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Sat Aug 18 13:54:32 EDT 2007


On 8/18/07, Petr Tomasek <tomasek at etf.cuni.cz> wrote:
> > right" and accurately preserved pronunciation from Biblical times. I propose
> > that in Biblical times, all syllables had the form of CV (consonant vowel),
> > in which case the final alep would have had a vowel connected to it. I
> This would sound strange to me, do You have an example of another
> language that has NO closed (CVC) syllabes?
Japanese before WWII was known as a language where all syllables ended
in a vowel, though in practice a few unstressed vowels were swallowed
(not pronounced) after an "n" in quick speech but that was not
considered proper pronunciation.

Today the language is changing under the influence of loan words from
other languages.

> > recently read "Nineveh and the Old Testament" by André Parrot, and the
> > transliterations of Hebrew names from Nineveh seem to indicate CV syllables.
> But the transcription using cuneiform signs has to use such syllabes,
> or am I wrong?
That's why I wrote "seem to indicate" rather than "prove". There are
too many unanswerable questions for this to be a proof.

> > But as I wrote above, the evidence is insufficient to prove any Biblical
> > period pronunciation, and the only guide for vowels are the Masoretic
> > points.
> >
> > Karl W. Randolph.
> >
> --
> Petr Tomasek <http://www.etf.cuni.cz/~tomasek>
> Jabber: butrus at jabbim.cz
> SIP:    butrus at ekiga.net (725514 at ekiga.net)

The way to answer this question is to interview native speakers of
Biblical Hebrew. However, there is a slight problem: the last native
speakers of Biblical Hebrew died well over 2,000 years ago .....
Thus we are left with educated guesses, and have to be satisfied with

Karl W. Randolph.

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